Depardieu reports driver to police after fracas

Depardieu reports driver to police after fracas
Photo: Thore Siebrands
French actor Gérard Depardieu has filed a complaint against a car driver whom he allegedly punched in the face during a Paris traffic altercation, his spokesman said Monday.

The action comes after the driver accused Depardieu of punching him in an incident on August 12, when he swerved into the path of the actor's scooter in

the capital's chic left-bank quarter.

Depardieu was interviewed by police following the driver's complaint, but during the session, the actor told police that he wanted to file a counter-complaint against the driver.

The actor has acknowledged hitting the driver, but argued the motorist was at fault and made him afraid of being knocked off his scooter, a police source said.

"It was more a case of fear than anything else," Depardieu told RTL radio last week. "My reaction was a bit over the top but I was very, very scared. That's it. Full stop. That's all there is to it. It was as stupid as that."

He added that people sometimes file complaints against him because of his fame.

"It's the price of celebrity, as the idiots would say," he said.

Depardieu, 63, is one of France's best known actors but has cut an increasingly troubled figure in recent years, regularly seeming to be under the influence of alcohol on his public appearances.

In 2005, he headbutted a photographer taking pictures of him in the Italian city of Florence, and last year he generated global headlines after urinating
in a bottle during a Paris-Dublin flight after being denied access to the toilets because the plane was taking off.

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